Game Grades: OKC Thunder can't find their rhythm in loss to Lakers

OKC Thunder struggles to get into gear against the L.A. Lakers in a loss on the front end of the back-to-back.

Jan 15, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2)
Jan 15, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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The Oklahoma City Thunder’s momentum could not carry over to the West Coast.

The Thunder fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 112-105 to begin a four-game road trip. While the Thunder seemed to be getting back into a rhythm, their energy on Monday could have been better.

Oklahoma City had leads throughout the game in what was a back-and-forth affair. That is until Los Angeles took over in the third quarter and never lost its lead.

The OKC Thunder struggle to control the inside against the Lakers.

Although the Thunder had done enough to stay within striking distance, the hole they dug was too deep to overcome. While the Thunder lost the rebounding battle by a small margin, their attack was altered by the Lakers’ inside presence.

As a great 3-point shooting team, the Thunder have won a number of games thanks to their hot outside shots. Yet, the Lakers forced the Thunder into their most attempt of the season with a 15-of-49 performance.

It worked well as Oklahoma City forced many shots from the outside rather than naturally creating them. Still, Los Angeles showed up with good performances from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who combined for 52 points to snap Oklahoma City’s four-game winning streak.

The Thunder will have a chance to change their fortunes in the same arena on Tuesday as they cap off a back-to-back against the LA Clippers.